Dog Grooming Qualifications to Become a Dog Groomer

January 6, 2023

If you’re a dog lover who would love nothing more than to spend each day taking care of precious pooches, dog grooming could be a great career option for you.

Dog grooming is a rewarding job where no two days are the same. And while there isn’t a requirement to become a dog groomer, attaining some qualifications for dog grooming will give you experience and help you to stand out from the crowd.

There are several routes you can take to become a dog groomer. Perhaps you’ll take a college course, or undergo an apprenticeship. Maybe you’ll choose to complete specialist courses run by private training organisations such as City & Guilds.

Here, we cover some of the qualifications you could complete to become a dog groomer, and the journey you could take to begin your career.

Recognised dog grooming qualifications

There’s no set roadmap to becoming a dog groomer but completing a qualification in dog grooming would be advantageous. Being trained professionally tells your future clients they can trust you with their precious pups and helps you to stand out against the competition.

Here are some dog grooming qualifications to consider:

Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants

Ideal for school leavers or those looking for a career change, the Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants is for those new to the industry who want to train as a dog groomer. You don’t need any previous experience or qualifications to study for this certificate.

The Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants covers:

  • Health and safety
  • How to handle dogs
  • Bathing and drying
  • Dog breeds and their temperaments
  • Selecting the correct shampoo and equipment
  • Basic clipping and trimming techniques

You’ll be assessed with weekly workbooks, assessments on a variety of dogs, and a 60 question end of course exam. Once you’ve completed the course, you will receive a City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants. You can then choose to go on to study a Level 3 qualification if you want to develop your skills further.

Level 3 Certificate in Introductory Dog Grooming

The Level 3 Certificate in Introductory Dog Grooming expands on the knowledge you’ve gained during the Level 2, allowing you to further your skills and abilities to work as a professional dog groomer.

Once completed, you will feel confident in handling and grooming a range of dog breeds, ages and temperaments. You’ll know how to minimise stress, undertake health checks, and be able to adjust grooming requirements accordingly.

To be awarded this certification, you’ll need to complete a practical demonstration of what you’ve learnt or an assignment, as well as a written test to prove your capabilities.

Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming

Once you’ve completed the Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants, you can progress your skills further by studying for the Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming.

During the course, you’ll learn all of the practical skills needed to professionally style dogs with different types of coat. You’ll also receive the training you need to be prepared to work as a dog groomer in line with legislation and welfare requirements.

Once you’ve completed the diploma, you could choose to work for a business, or as a self-employed dog groomer.

How long does it take to become a dog groomer?

It’s easy for those who aren’t in the industry to assume that dog grooming only involves brushing dogs. But becoming a professional dog groomer takes time and involves learning several areas of canine care. If you’re considering a career in dog grooming, you may be wondering how long it takes to become qualified.

How long it takes to become a dog groomer depends on the route you choose. There aren’t mandatory qualifications or requirements to become a dog groomer. Instead, the choice is yours if you’d prefer to gain hands-on experience in a salon shadowing professionals, or study for a qualification to learn the tricks of the trade.

If you choose to study for a certificate or diploma in dog grooming, it can take weeks or months to complete depending on the course. You may decide to learn the ropes with an apprenticeship, often offered by both large pet retail and grooming chains and small independents. In your apprenticeship, you’ll work with a professional dog groomer who will walk you through every step of the grooming process. An apprenticeship will usually take up to 18 months to complete.

Useful training resources for upcoming dog groomers

With a bit of research, you can find some useful training resources to help you on your journey to becoming a dog groomer, all without breaking the bank. Reed Courses, for example, have a list of several dog grooming courses you can look into to get you started.

Things to consider before becoming a qualified dog groomer

Not sure if dog grooming is the right career path for you? Here are some factors to consider to help you decide if pampering pooches is the best option for your future:

  • Experience: While not mandatory to become a dog groomer, having qualifications under your belt gives you the knowledge and confidence to apply for dog grooming jobs. But once you’ve completed your qualification, this doesn’t mean you’ll stop learning. You’ll continue to grow as a professional dog groomer long after you’ve qualified. The more clients you have, the more your confidence will improve.
  • Equipment is important: While technique is important, so is having great quality tools. Quality equipment can help you to deliver results that will keep clients happy. While you don’t need to buy the most expensive equipment on the market, you’ll need to invest in yourself. Clippers, shampoos, conditioners, shears and brushes can add up quickly, so make sure to budget for these.
  • Different coats have different needs: Dog coats vary greatly – from short coats to long. Dogs’ fur is important to regulate their temperature and protect their skin. With this in mind, each fur type needs to be groomed in a certain way. Understanding the differences in coats and requirements is essential for a dog groomer.
  • Accidents can happen: Whether you’re new to the dog grooming world, or have years of experience under your belt, accidents can happen. You might accidentally clip a dog’s skin, or get water in their ears and potentially cause an infection. It’s important to be honest with the client if this happens and let them know immediately. The best way to avoid this is to take your time. And if an accident does occur, make sure to act responsibly and professionally.

Get your dog grooming business insurance with Protectivity

Whether you run a dog grooming salon or work as a mobile dog groomer, having Dog Grooming Insurance in place can give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your work to the fullest. Your policy will include Public Liability Insurance, as well as Care, Custody and Control cover should accidental injury, illness or loss of an animal under your care occur. Having quality, affordable cover in place can give you the reassurance that should the worst happen, you’ll have support there to put wrong to right. Get a quote today.

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